The annual Eco-Friendly Garden Tour (Tour)will take place on May 4th! Now in its ninth year, the Tour is sponsored by the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership and focuses on low water-use, sustainable landscaping. Tour participants will learn water-saving strategies and garden tips from homeowners while visiting gorgeous gardens and mingling with fellow gardening enthusiasts. The 2019 tour has over 40 inspirational gardens throughout Sonoma and Marin counties. Many of the gardens are owned by landscape designers and architects, enhancing the experience for those interested in landscaping their own yards or getting ideas for future landscaping projects. This year’s tour includes a variety of new gardens in Sonoma Valley, a few of which have recovered from the 2017 Wildfires that swept through the region. The resilience of native plants have been visible on these properties and are beginning to bloom with color and wildlife. The California Native Plant Society Milo Baker Chapter will be presenting California native gardens in Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Kenwood and Sonoma. Each of the gardens will have California native plant experts on hand to provide information to visitors. Several of the gardens will include additional activities such as native plant talks, demonstrations, and a native plant sale at the Laguna Environmental Center. Betty Young from the Milo Baker Chapter of the California Native Plant Society comments on the importance of California native plants in our landscapes:
“As we lose more and more natural habitat, planting native plants in our gardens can replenish some of the precious habitat that has been lost. This is particularly important for the Monarch butterfly. Counts were low last year and this year are only 10% of that. They are truly on the brink of extinction in central California. Planting milkweed in your garden, the plant they must have to lay eggs, is essential to bring back the Monarchs. Each native you plant, means you attract and support butterflies, birds and other pollinators with your garden.”
Also, the Petaluma based non-profit Daily Acts will also be presenting gardens in Windsor, Cotati and Petaluma as part of their Resilient Homes Tour. These gardens optimize precious resources to create bountiful landscapes that offer beauty, wildlife habitat, fire defense and fresh food. Homeowners have designed their landscapes as mini watersheds, collecting rainwater, repurposing graywater, and nurturing the soil to keep as much moisture on site as possible.
We look forward to seeing you on this year’s Eco-Friendly Garden Tour! The tour is free, but registration is required at: savingwaterpartnership.org/eco-friendly-garden-tour.